Emergent Literacy Design

Clapping With Letter C

Emergent Literacy Design

Laura Moore

Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /k/, the phoneme represented by C.  Students will learn to recognize /k/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (clapping your hands) and the letter symbol C, practice finding /k/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /k/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Connie Can Count on Catie to Count the Carrots,” word cards with CAR, CASE, CAMP, CATCH, and CAT; LMNO Peas (Beach Lane, 2010), blank paper and crayons; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /k/

Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /k/. We spell /k/ with letter C. C looks like hands clapping together, and /k/ sounds when hands hit together. /k/.

2. Let's pretend to clap over and over, /k/, /k/, /k/. [Pantomime hitting hands together] Notice where your tongue is? (Touching roof of your mouth). When we say /k/, we blow a burst of air between the roof of mouth and tongue. /k/.

3. Let me show you how to find /k/ in the word camp. I'm going to stretch camp out in super slow motion and listen for my toothbrush. Ccc-a-a-amp. Slower: Cc-cc-a-a-a-mmm-p. There it was! I felt my tongue touch the roof of my mouth and blow air.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Connie Can Count on Catie to Count the Carrots,” Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /k/ at the beginning of the words. "Ccconnie cccan cccount on Cccatie to cccount the cccarrots.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/k/ onnie /k/an /k/ount on /k/atie to /k/ount the /k/arrots.” h

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter C to spell /k/. When you cup your left hand it looks like the letter C. Lets write down lowercase letter c. Start like a little a. Go up and touch the fence, then around and up. I want to see everyone’s c. After I put a smiley face on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /k/ in Sing or call? Case or bag? Color or white? Throw or catch? Clap or slap? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /k/ in some words. Crack a nut if you hear /k/: Catie, will, cook, a, cookie, for, her, camp, friend, Claire.

7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. LMNO Peas by Keith Baker is a book about a bunch of little alphabet peas. They are colorful, fun, and they all have their own interests, hobbies, and careers. Can you guess what kind of interests, jobs, and hobbies might start with C?” Read the page with the C and drawing out the words with /k/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /k/. Then have each student write his or her own job, interest, or hobby that uses /k/. The students will write their word, draw a corresponding picture, and color their picture. Display their work.

8. Show and model orally how to decide if it is cup or plate: The C tells me to clap my hands, /k/, so this word is ccc-up, cup. You try some: CAR: car or jar? CASE: case or lace? CAMP: lamp or camp? CATCH: catch or match? CAT: hat or cat?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to color and name the pictures that begin with k. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.


Crack a nut with C – Susan Jordan


Reference: Byrne, B., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1990). Acquiring the alphabetic principle: A case for teaching recognition of phoneme identity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 805-812.l


Assessment worksheet:




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